It's one thing to tell your skeptical kid that Santa is real. It's another to actually meet the guy, then accidentally kill him and get his job. Your life might get a little more complicated, especially when your ex and her husband start to worry about how much time you spend with your son.
General thoughts:I have a confession to make. I haven't been to a concert. I'm not sure if I ever will be. But that's what DVDs are for, right?
Since this is the post-Comatose tour, that's the majority of the music here. I'm a little disappointed "Falling Inside The Black" didn't make it on here, but that's a minor thing. I felt exhilarated watching it, getting the feeling that comes with epic rock music.
Be aware that the "behind the scenes" video doesn't actually tell you anything. It's just backstage footage set to "The Older I Get". But you will get several official music videos. And if you register the CD by signing up for the mailing list, you can get some bonus tracks (mostly acoustic versions of songs).
Overall, it's a great release and I recommend checking it out.
Songwriters and composers:Mark A. Brymer, Roy Zimmerman, Melanie Harby, Johnny Marks, Jerry Herman, Fred Heider, Mel Tormé, J. Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie Genres:Christmas/holiday, comedy Notes:Album art taken from Amazon. General thoughts:I'd expect a Christmas special by these guys, but not an album. How did it turn out?
Silly for one thing, both when it does original songs and with traditional carols. And very in character, which helped it.
General thoughts:Most of the artists I listened to often at one point in my life have now passed into "hey, I remember that." Among them is Chris Rice.
There are two styles of songs here:The more upbeat, and the quieter and more introspective. There are good and bad examples of both. And the lyrics range from the light-hearted and a little silly to the more serious and emotional.
Overall, I've heard worse. If you like your Christian music a little unorthodox, consider picking this up.
Premise:A ill Santa decides not to make his yearly trip, so his wife looks for another option.
Cast:Shirley Booth as Mrs. Claus, Mickey Rooney as Santa Claus, Bob McFadden as Jingle Bells, Bradley Bolke as Jangle Bells, Colin Duffy as Ignatius "Iggy" Thistlewhite, Dick Shawn as Snow Miser, George S. Irving as Heat Miser, Rhoda Mann as Mother Nature Directors:Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr.
General thoughts:Jeremy Camp is another artist I've listened to some, thanks to being around Christian music my whole life. He's also another that I haven't really gotten into, but has a few good songs. That last sentence isn't a bad description of this album. While I'm not big on the whole thing, there are several songs here that I want to hang onto.
Soundwise, this is where he starts really getting into the rock. He had a few songs like this early on, but not quite as much. Lyrically, it's mostly about God. His forgiveness, love, sacrifice, and so forth.
Overall, if you like Christian rock, I'd say give it at least one listen.
Songwriters and composers:Really should look up the writers of these carols. Genres:Classical, Christmas/holiday Notes:Album art taken from Amazon. General thoughts:This is Christmas/praise and worship music as sung by a chorus for the most part. Think what you might sing in church around Christmas time.
The whole chorus thing means it doesn't do much for me. There were moments during a few songs (like "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"), but they were few and far between.
Overall, I'd skip it and pick out something by your favorite Christian artists instead.
Premise:An eccentric man tries to make Christmas special for his whole family. Cast:Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold, Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie, Johnny Galecki as Rusty Griswold, Juliette Lewis as Audrey Griswold, John Randolph as Grandpa Clark, Diane Ladd as Grandma Nora, E.G. Marshall as Grandpa Art, Doris Roberts as Grandma Frances, Nicholas Guest as Todd Chester, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Margo Chester, Miriam Flynn as Catherine, Ellen Hamilton Latzen as Ruby Sue, Cody Burger as Rocky, William Hickey as Uncle Lewis, Mae Questal as Aunt Bethany, Brian Doyle-Murray as Frank Shirley Director:Jeremiah S. Chechik MPAA Rating:PG-13 Genres:Holiday, comedy Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards. Pros:Silly protagonists hi-jinks. It's funny. Cons:One subplot.
Spending Christmas with your family can be fun, but it also tends to be stressful. It can get even more stressful when they stay in your house a couple weeks. Maybe just a tiny...My goodness, how do you stand it? I don't care how much you love your family. Cramming them all in the same house for weeks before a major "family" holiday? No thanks.
Songwriters:Johnny Cash, Jack H. Clement, June Carter Cash, Merle Kilgore, Jerry Lieber, Billy Edd Wheeler, Sheldon Silverstein, Kris Kristofferson, Wayne Kemp, Jimmy Webb, Bono, Larry Mullen, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Chris Cornell, Geoff Mack, Trent Reznor
You know the drill. During the holidays and birthdays, we open surprise gifts from each other.
Don't get me wrong. I like getting gifts, but I see some issues with the way we've set things up. To start, it encourages people (especially kids) to be spoiled, greedy brats. I personally have been one, and don't sit there smirking like you haven't.
Premise:A middle aged couple decides to skip Christmas and go on a cruise, much to the shock of the neighborhood.
Cast:Tim Allen as Luthor Krank, Jamie Lee Curtis as Nora Krank, Julie Gonzalo as Blair Krank, Dan Aykroyd as Vic Frohmeyer, Erik Per Sullivan as Spike Frohmeyer, M. Emmett Walsh as Walt Scheel, Elizabeth Franz as Bev Scheel, Cheech Marin as Officer Salino, Jake Busey as Officer Treen, Austin Pendleton as Marty, René Lavan as Enrique Decardenal Director:Joe Roth MPAA Rating:PG for brief language and suggestive content. Genres:Holiday, comedy Notes:Based on the book Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. Poster taken from IMP Awards. Pros:One or two characters. Cons:Obnoxious characters. Not many laughs.
With their daughter leaving for the holidays, the Kranks have started to wonder, why celebrate Christmas? It's so expensive that a cruise would be cheaper. Now if only the neighbors would see it that way.
Premise:A secret organization (primarily a veteran agent and his rookie partner) have to save the world from an alien cockroach.
Cast:Will Smith as Agent J, Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K, Vincent D'Onofrio as Edgar/the Bug, Linda Fiorentino as Laurel Weaver, Rip Torn as Zed, Tony Shaloub as Jeebs, Siobhan Fallon as Beatrice
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for language and sci-fi violence
Genres:Sci-fi, action, comedy
Notes:Based off a Marvel comic. Poster taken from IMP Awards.
Pros:The leads. Funny dialogue. Good action.
Cons:Spots of bad acting. Excessive use of slime.
Are we alone in the universe? According to the Men in Black, we are. Or so they want the public to think. They know that we deal with aliens on a regular basis and don't even realize it. And considering that the planet might be blown to pieces, maybe it's better that way.
General thoughts:In the last few years, Lindsey Stirling has made quite a mark with her unique style. She's experimenting with her music here, some of which I kind of liked (the Lzzy Hale collaboration for one), other bits less so (thanks to screeching or skipping sounds). For the most part, it's about what you'd expect.
The deluxe edition isn't memorable. If you happen to come across it before you buy the regular album, then go ahead and get it, but otherwise, there's not a lot of reason to. Be aware that you'll have to get it at Target to get the whole thing.
Overall, if you've liked what you've heard of Lindsey Stirling, get this for sure.
Yeah, it's a nice story and all, but why in the world do movies act like Santa not visiting would destroy everything? What about Jesus, family, togetherness, and stuff like that? Why is a guy not delivering presents going to result in the end of happiness?
Ripping off It's A Wonderful Life
Inevitably, the world without this character is going to be so awful and clearly needs them still. This story-line is old and overused by now. Give it a rest.
Premise:A couple adopts a puppy in the midst of their life.
Cast:Owen Wilson as John Grogan, Jennifer Aniston as Jenny Grogan, Eric Dane as Sebastian, Alan Arkin as Arnie Klein
MPAA Rating:PG for thematic material, some suggestive content, and language
Notes:Based on John Grogan's autobiography. Set in the 90's. Poster taken from IMP Awards.
Pros:Some emotional moments. Good main characters. The marriage.
Cons:Moves too fast. Not that funny. Flat secondary characters.
If you've ever had a puppy, then you know they are a handful. Sometimes, they don't mellow out when they get older. But he can still be kind of fun.
The trailers probably made you think this is just a childish comedy about a misbehaving dog. It sort of is, but it's more a drama about a couple living their life from marriage to kids to middle age. And because of its approach to that, it should have been PG-13. This should not have been marketed to families because it's just not that kind of movie, despite what it may think.
Artist:Casting Crowns Songwriters and composers:Whoever wrote the carols originally. Also Mark Hall, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Paul Baloche, and Robert MacGimsey. Genres:Gospel, Christmas/holiday Notes:Album art taken from the official site. General thoughts:Is it surprising most of the songs here relate directly to Christ?
There are several songs that really weren't that great. While the lyrics are often good, the music itself leaves something to be desired. Of the songs I did like, there was an emotional and often haunting quality.
Overall, get it if you're a Casting Crowns fan. Otherwise, skip it.
Because Wednesdays are my busiest day and because I'm lazy, I probably won't get around to visiting a lot of other blogs until tomorrow.
I've learned something in the last couple of months. Being sick is really bad for my writing projects. Not too long ago, I had a cold. Then more recently, there were a few headache days. And let's not forget the misery of cramps. And all of it screws stuff up. It's hard to write down good dialogue when it hurts too much to do anything.
On a more general note, I've been dealing with some burnout lately. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe my brain's going on strike. And with Christmas coming, well, things are going to get interesting. I'll probably take a couple weeks off, though. And why is it all these IWSG posts of mine end up rambling and unfocused? What's going on with my head?
General thoughts:I want to finish this because their next album was the Christmas one.
The first three-quarters of the album is the best of the whole thing and the most serious. There are surprisingly few straight-up praise and worship songs and the ones here are average quality, nothing more.
Overall, if you like angsty gospel or the band, give it a listen.
Premise:A bunch of mischievous creatures wreak havoc in a town.
Cast:Zach Galligan as Billy Peltzer, Phobe Cates as Kate Beringer, Hoyt Axton as Randall Peltzer, Keye Luke as Mr. Wing, Polly Holliday as Ruby Deagle, Dick Miller as Murray Futterman, Frances Lee McCain as Lynn Peltzer
Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards. Pros:Adorable creature. Chaos factor. Fair special effects.
Cons:Plot holes and conveniences. Some cartoon-y characters and situations. A couple of bloated scenes.
If there ever was a better PSA against owning exotic pets, I'd love to see it.